Persistence of tick-borne virus in the presence of multiple host species: tick reservoirs and parasite mediated competition

R Norman, R G Bowers, M Begon, P J Hudson
Journal of Theoretical Biology 1999 September 7, 200 (1): 111-8
Tick-borne viruses in tropical and temperate parts of the world have a significant impact on human, livestock and wildlife hosts both directly, through mortality/morbidity, and economically. Since the ticks have multiple life stages and can utilize a large range of host species our understanding of the dynamics of these infections is often not clear. In this paper we consider the impact of a population which is a tick host but non-viraemic on one which is both a tick host and viraemic. We present two simple deterministic models and use joint threshold density curves to illustrate the basic reproductive ratios of both the ticks and the virus. We find that the non-viraemic hosts can have considerable impact on the viraemic host. Either they amplify the tick population and cause the virus to persist, or they dilute the infection and cause it to die out. A general model framework is presented here but a special case of this model describes the red grouse-hare-Louping-ill system.

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